How To Overseed Your Lawn: A Comprehensive Guide to Overseeding

Are you looking to improve the quality of your lawn? If your lawn is looking a little patchy, you may be thinking about overseeding. By adding new seed to an existing lawn, you can thicken up thin areas, fill in any patches, and give your grass a boost of nutrients.

Overseeding your lawn is a great way to improve its overall health and appearance, and it’s also a great preventive measure against weeds and other pests. 

But before you start, there are a few things you need to know. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about overseeding your lawn, from choosing the right seed to preparing your soil. We’ll also share some expert tips on planting and watering for best results.

So grab your gardening gloves and let’s get started! By following our tips, you’ll be able to achieve a lush, green lawn that will be the envy of the neighborhood.

What is Overseeding?

Overseeding is the process of adding new seed to an existing lawn. By doing this, you can fill in thin areas, thicken up the grass, and improve the overall health of your lawn. It’s also a great way to prevent weeds and other pests from taking hold.

Overseeding is a great way to improve the quality of your lawn without having to start from scratch. If you have an existing lawn that’s looking a little patchy, overseeding can give it new life.

The main difference between overseeding and reseeding your lawn is that with overseeding you don’t remove any of the original grass lawn you have, but you simply add seeds on top of it.

Why Overseed Your Lawn?

There are a few reasons to overseed a lawn.

For one thing, overseeding is beneficial because it may be used as a simple method to fill in bare areas in your lawn. These spots might have been caused by a variety of factors, such as weather, stray toys, neighborhood dogs, and so on.

Additionally, overseeding your lawn can also help to increase the density of grass blades. This may help prevent weeds from sprouting and taking hold of your lawn’s soil. Also, appearance wise, it may improve the color and uniformity of your grass, which will make it lush and beautiful.

Overall, overseeding a lawn is critical for maintaining a healthy grass. It’s easier than ripping up your yard and starting from the ground up, and overseeding is more forgiving than reseeding as well.

However, making errors may harm your lawn rather than helping it. Grass seed is also costly. You want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when you add any seed to your lawn.

When to Overseed Your Lawn

The timing of when to overseed your lawn depends on the type of seeds you’re using.

In the cooler northern climes, fall or even late summer is the ideal time to overseed. The soil is warm enough to support germination in the fall, although it isn’t yet excessively cold for the delicate new grass to grow before winter arrives. The soil moisture level required for germination is also better. Overseeding should be done 45 days before the first frost – this would be great for increasing a weak or thinning grass over the winter.

If not done in the fall, spring is an alternative time for overseeding, although it’s best to do it as soon as possible so that seedlings have enough of a head start before the summer heat.

For those in southern regions with warm-season grasses, it is important to overseed late in the fall months, when temperatures have consistently dropped below 65 degrees at night; this will help you maintain a lovely color over the winter.

How to Overseed Your Lawn

Here are the steps you need to take to overseed your lawn. First, you need to choose the right seed. Then, you need to prepare your lawn and soil. Finally, you need to plant the seed and water it properly.

Choosing Grass Seed

Not all grass seeds are created equal. The type of seed you choose will depend on a few factors, such as your climate, the amount of sun and shade your lawn receives, and the type of soil you have.

Generally speaking, there are two types of grass seed – cool season and warm season. Cool season grasses do well in the northern states, where temperatures can get quite chilly in the winter. They include Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and rye.

Warm season grasses do well in the southern states, where the summers are hot and humid. They include Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia.

If you’re not sure what type of seed to choose, it’s best to consult with a professional. They will be able to help you pick the best type of seed for your lawn.


Once you’ve chosen the right seed, you need to prepare your lawn and soil for planting. First, remove any debris from the lawn such as leaves, sticks, or other objects. This will help the new seeds make good contact with the soil.

Next, you’ll need to prepare the soil. If it’s been a while since you’ve fertilized your lawn, now would be a good time to do it. This will help the new grass seedlings get a good start. You’ll also want to loosen up the top layer of soil so that the new seeds can easily take root.

A garden rake is perfect for this task. You can also aerate it or use a tiller to stir up the soil and get the healthier lower ground mixed in with the topsoil.

Mow your grass so that it is all even and you can more easily see where you most need to overseed. If you have any bald spots or areas with very thin grass, you’ll want to loosen up the soil even more and mix in some organic matter. This will help the new grass seedlings get a good start.

Once the soil is prepared, you’re ready to overseed your lawn.


There are two main ways to apply seed to your lawn – by hand or using a spreader. If you have a small lawn, you can simply sprinkle the seed by hand. For larger lawns, using a spreader will save you time and energy.

When using a spreader, be sure to set it to the correct setting. You don’t want to apply too much or too little seed. Applying too much seed will waste seed and not applying enough will also result in poor grass growth.

The average amount of seed you want to spread for overseeding work is about 35 grams of grass seed per square meter of lawn.

Once you’ve applied the seed, you’ll need to rake it into the soil so that it makes good contact. Be sure not to bury the seeds too deep – they need light to germinate. A general rule of thumb is to plant the seeds at a depth that is equal to three times the width of the seed.

Watering and Maintenance

It’s critical to keep the soil well-kept after seeding until the new grass has germinated and grown. When you’re finished spreading the grass seed, go over the same area with a grass seed or new grass fertilizer, for example. This will ensure that your seeds get all of the nutrients they require, and will help prepare the ground for when the seeds start to germinate and grow.

Regarding watering, you should give your new grass seed a good, deep watering as soon as the seeding and fertilization are done. After that, you’ll need to water at least once a day for up to six weeks. However, overwatering or underwatering the ground are both bad for your lawn – the soil should feel moist about an inch below the surface, but not too much more than that.

Because different seeds have different germination times, you can see our post for more information about how long your grass will take to grow.

Finally, you should avoid walking on your newly-planted grass lawn if at all possible. Set up boundaries with string to remind yourself and your family that it is off limits for the first six weeks until it has grown full and lush.

Tools to Overseed Your Lawn

Firstly, you will need a lawn mower as well as either a tiller or an aerator to prepare your soil. Then, you should use a seed spreader to more evenly spread your grass seed out. Finally, to best water your lawn you’d want a quality lawn sprinkler to ensure full and even water coverage.

DIY vs. Professional

Now that you see what it takes to overseed your lawn, you should think through whether you want to do it yourself or if you want to hire a professional gardener to overseed your grass for you.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. When you overseed your lawn yourself, you’ll save some money, but it takes a bit more time and effort. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, or if you don’t have the time, hiring a professional will ensure the job gets done right – although it will cost considerably more.

One thing that hiring a professional will do for you is they will tell you when things aren’t going correctly. Perhaps your grass is a different species than you thought, or it has a different pH level than can support the grass seed you want to plant. Pros will think through all of these problems for you and assess when and how is the best way to proceed.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to overseeding your lawn. All in all, overseeding is a great way to keep your lawn looking lush and green all year round.

If you’re looking to overseed your lawn, whether it be for the first time or as part of an annual maintenance routine, hopefully this guide has helped you with everything you need to know. It’s a fairly easy process, but there are some things you need to know in order to do it right.

We’ve outlined when to overseed, how to do it, and what tools and products you’ll need. Remember to water and maintain your lawn properly, and if you have any questions or run into any problems, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. We would be happy to help in any way we can, and we hope you have a beautiful, healthy lawn for years to come!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.